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Hard Copy User Manual

WayneWayne Member
edited June 18 in SmartSDR for Windows

Will there be a printed manual available for purchase for the 6400M/6600M? Its so much easier to find stuff make notes and you don't have to have a 2nd computer beside you which I do so often to read and follow along when your using applications and trying to read the manual on the same computer. Just doesn't work well.

This is my current solution, it has been so helpful and I use it all the time. The manual content is great but no hard copy ... not so much ...

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Answers

  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I'd be surprised if Flex ever offers hard copies of their manuals, especially considering how often they can change.


    I do the same thing here, just print a copy of all the manuals (software, hardware, DAX, and CAT), then re-print whenever a manual gets upgraded.  It eats up toner cartridges, but sometimes its nice having a hard copy available. 
  • Robert LonnRobert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I took it to Staples, and had them print it, in color, and bind it all up, with each section broken out.. I know the manager at the store, so he did it for me at a reasonable cost..  AND,, I dont even own a Flex 6600M yet!!! But getting ready..
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I agree. It's a major challenge as features change so often. It's something I'd like to see for some people but I don't know if the demand is there. 

    I print using the xerox duplex printer and keep in a 3 ring binder. 

    Maybe they can look into something like lulu.com to print on demand, nicely bound. One of my attorney friends uses it for his law books that he writes. That would be the simplest to get a nice, printed, bound copy.

    See this, this would be perfect:

    http://connect.lulu.com/en/discussion/32074/what-is-print-on-demand-pod

    However the author, FlexRadio has to do it as they are the copyright owner. 

    Ria
    N2RJ
  • Bob K8RCBob K8RC Old Guy Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Taking a cue from other manufacturer's manuals, instead of numbering the pages in order from cover to cover, Flex could use chapter + page numbering.

    That way, they could add an entire section or revise individual pages without the user having to reprint the entire manual.
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I haven't printed the Flex manuals yet, but I have printed the manual from other radios at Kinko's, and it's as easy as going online, submitting the PDF and selecting your print and binding options. The nice thing is anyone can do it, the bad thing is it's easy to make a mistake and pick the wrong weight paper, color instead of monochrome printing, etc. and wind up with a very expensive manual.
  • NX6D DaveNX6D Dave Member
    edited March 2018
    This is a good suggestion -- I'll keep it in mind.  It is frequently the case that changes to the docs are limited to a few sections, so it would be practical to reprint the modified sections, and the Table of Contents.

    Thanks for this suggestion!
  • NX6D DaveNX6D Dave Member
    edited March 2018
    So this is print on demand.  We send the PDF to the company, they hold it and print a copy when someone orders it.  Thanks Ria, I'll look at this too.
  • Jim K4JAFJim K4JAF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I just put the PDF copy on another monitor here in the shack, then you can read it while doing the normal adjustments/procedures on the Flex Radio.  
  • Jim K4JAFJim K4JAF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I just put the PDF copy on another monitor here in the shack, then you can read it while doing the normal adjustments/procedures on the Flex Radio.  
  • Neil D Friedman N3DFNeil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭
    edited June 18
    I'm waiting for the audiobook.  
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited July 2019
    We are committed to providing up to date documentation electronically.  Additionally, if we did print and bind the manuals, they would most likely cost more than if you had it done yourself at the local print and shipping store.

    To quote Dr. McCoy, "we're a radio manufacturer, not a print shop, Jim"
  • KC2QMA_JohnKC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019

    Bottom line in 2018 almost no companies offer printed manuals anymore.

    Nowadays if you need a printed manual you have to print it yourself.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I think one car mfg even gave theirs out on an iPad... with the iPad included in the price. 
  • Bob K8RCBob K8RC Old Guy Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I do wish you would consider chapter+page numbering as noted above so that the user could change pages instead of reprinting the entire manual when significant revisions are made.  That way you could add a page or two to Chapter 3 without having to reprint everything from Chapter 4 and onward.

    The FCC used to do that with the broadcast regulations back in the days when an on-site copy was necessary. (slightly after they discontinued the use of stone tablets but before electronic publishing)
  • K1UO - LarryK1UO - Larry Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    The Staples store here in Bangor, Maine (maybe the entire nation AFAIK)  Will NOT print a copy of the manual , or any manual, if it is marked with a copyright protection notice.  I always need to get written permission from the manufacturer/ copyright owner of the equipment involved.  Thus, for me to get Staples to print any of the Flex Manuals, I will need to get written permission from Flex.
    Been there too many times with Staples...  Got the T-shirt.
  • Lin NI4YLin NI4Y Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I prefer PDF manuals easy to search they can be highlighted in the reader.  Also no space taken up in my very full shack.
  • VE7ATJ_DonVE7ATJ_Don Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Actually, the quote should be more along the lines of "D..n it Jim.  I'm a doctor, not a print shop!"  :-)  Deforest Kelly was always one of my favorite actors from the original Star Trek....
  • NX6D DaveNX6D Dave Member
    edited August 2019
    I just fiddled around with this, and I can do it.  The pages of each major section of a document like the SSDR User Guide could be numbered from the beginning of the section, so you would have pages like 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 4-1, 4-2, etc.  Then, it would make sense to reprint individual sections and insert them into an existing printed document, without the expense (and waste) of reprinting a 200 page document because 10 pages changed.

    I'll talk this over with the guys and we'll see what happens.  Thanks for the suggestion.
  • W8QBW8QB Member
    edited March 2018
    I'm a big fan of Star Trek having watched every single episode in the original TV series.  I owned a recent vintage K3 transceiver.  Each K3 came with a printed manual at no extra charge; additional copies (KS3) currently are selling at the modest price of $19.95.  That sounds like a nice touch for a company who, much like FRS, manufactures top of the line radios, notwithstanding that neither company is a "print shop".
  • Ross - K9COXRoss - K9COX Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    This is encouraging, there are some that actually do read the manual.
  • Robert LonnRobert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I am holding the manual for my New Classic AOR AR3030... Original Manual and a whopping 51 Pages... But the manual is only  4X8" so more like 15-18 pages!! Naturally the AR3030 was made before iPads, PDF and the Internet was at full capacity so a hard copy was considered mandatory.. 1993..

    Flex Manual is full 8x11" pages at 165 pages...Smart SDR 46 Pages.. Lets call it  200 pages for both... The point being that radios use to be a lot simpler.. A K3 Transceiver can be operated without the use of a manual for most features.. The new ICOM 7610 radios manual is 91 pages long,, full of a lot of dead space and small pictures... And ICOM has already made 3 revisions and everyone tries to figure out, what changed??

    I side with Flex.. Smart SDR and the 6600M manual are loaded on my Desk Computer, Loaded on my Dedicated Ham Radio 2 in 1 computer and on my iPad.. Printing real manuals is not easy and readable size is critical. My new Olympus DSLR camera came with a printed manual,, but you need to wear a magnifying glass to read the small print.. Naturally they wanted it to fit in the camera box.. OH, it comes in 4 languages as well.. 

    I will agree with you on one thing,, If FLEX wants to elevate their game to the next level,, then providing a printed manual would be a nice touch.. When I got my wife her new MB 300 car, the Benz dealer also gave us a Hat, T-Shirt and a SS water bottle.. Not a big deal when you get a $40K car, but still a nice touch.. Flex has Customer Service as a TOP priority,, Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood could learn a lot from Flex.. So yes,, a manual would be a nice touch but not a deal breaker for most people.. 

    Robert
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Most people under 50 or 60? And a few of us even older guys are used to and prefer electronic manuals My Tesla and BMW came with onboard electronic manuals. No more dead trees. Only dead electrons. The Icom paper manuals are notorious for being incomprehensible. K3’s are NOT obvious You push a button too long and you can **** it up royally. Done that myself many times in contests. But clearly there is a limited demand as expressed here for paper by the computer challenged so the idea of making it available by a Papering service is a good one.
  • W8QBW8QB Member
    edited April 2019
    I am far from being "computer challenged"...but I do like to read things...on paper.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I find electronic versions so much easier to read, find things and see. But I am a bit vision challenged so being able to zoom into text on my iPad really helps. Can’t do that easily with paper.
  • Robert LonnRobert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Well, when done right,, I like Paper Stuff!!!      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00Umqv-CDBE

     
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    A printed manual is cheaper than a second (or third, or...) monitor, but an additional monitor may be cheaper than five or six custom printed manuals of any significantly large size.
  • Gary JohnsonGary Johnson Member
    edited November 2019
    Too hard to use my yellow highlighter on electronic manuals.  Numbering by chapter makes sense and should be quick to do.  Would require renumbering table of contents too.  Would  love to see an index!!
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Nonsense. Get an iPad.

    Too. Highlight a word. Or sentence just touch your. Finger on it. It’s. Highlighted. A thousand times easier than using a highlighter plus you can easily correct your mistakes.

    Index. Unnecessary. Touch search. Type the word you want and you are instantly brought to the page or pages you need.

    I, for one, was thrilled when manufacturers stopped printing manuals.

    Plus being vision challenged as I get older I can easily zoom on text and drawings so I can actually see them without looking for a magnifying glass.

    But I understand that some people hate change.

    By the way i have written a lot of manuals over the years. So glad when we no longer had to produce paper ones with their PAINFUL, ExPensive revision process. In fact, the first book I ever wrote was aLab Manual for First Year Engineering Students. Different type of manual but still a manual
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    The 'big three' radio mfg. have gone to 'split' manuals - a printed user guide that is less comprehensive than the advanced manual included on CD with the radio.
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    FedEx/Kinkos has no such requirement, at least they didn't when I printed the manual for my Kenwood TH-D74 handheld.

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